Sunday, October 31, 2021

Russia's Kola Peninsula Pyramids Mystery

Around October 28, 2021, I visited the Science Fiction Facebook group to see if anything interesting had been recently posted. I found a discussion thread had been started about the mysterious pyramids on Russia’s Kola Peninsula. The thread began with an image that also contained this information::
The discussion contained a lot of arguments about whether the "pyramids" were man-made or just natural formations. And there were arguments that the ice ages would have destroyed any man-made pyramids. Over four thousand people had indicated that they “like” the topic, and over a thousand had “shared” the thread elsewhere.

I had never heard of the Kola Peninsula, much less any Russian pyramids. It seemed interesting, so I began researching the subject.

The Kola Peninsula is almost entirely above the Arctic Circle and looks like it should be part of Finland, but it’s Russian. Here’s a map of the area:

At first, I just tried Googling “Kola Peninsula pyramids,” but that immediately resulted in getting links to Russian sites that have brief articles about the pyramids but are also filled with ads for Russian wives, Russian girlfriends and Russian porn, plus more often than not they also contained triggers to attempt hacks into your computer. So, if the link contains .ru at the end, avoid it -- or make sure you have good Internet security software running in your computer.

According to Wikipedia, the Sámi people originally occupied northern Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola Peninsula, surviving by herding reindeer and sheep, plus fishing and trapping. The article, however, says nothing about any pyramids.

The first reasonably good article I found that mentioned the pyramids is HERE. It looks almost as shady as the .ru sites, but the information seems good, even though there are no references. It says the Kola Peninsula is legendary in that it was supposedly once the home of the Hyperboreans mentioned by ancient historians. The word ‘hyperborean’ means: one who lives in the north, or one who lives beyond Borea (beyond the North wind). According to legend, the Hyperboreans were much smarter than the ancient Greeks.

The article also says, “The pyramids of the Kola Peninsula were first discovered in 1922, and the first expedition began in 1920 under the guidance of the famous [Russian] science fiction writer and explorer Alexander Vasilyevich Barchenko.” It also says the pyramids were found near Seydozero (Holy Lake), and they are “connected by a jumper and oriented to the cardinal points, have a height of about 50 meters. Sámi shamans apparently used ancient structures to conduct their magical rituals.”

Barchenko was killed in 1938 during a purge by Stalin, and it wasn’t until the 1990s that another expedition was made to the pyramids. The article says:

“Artifacts that confirm the existence of an ancient civilization in the Russian North are the main attraction of the peninsula. Scientists who made the last scientific expedition to the pyramids of the Russian North, claim that these man-made structures are at least 9000 years old. This indicates that the pyramids are 2 times older than the Egyptian ones.”

The last Ice Age ended about 11,700 years ago, which means the pyramids were built at least 2 thousand years after the last ice age, contrary to some of the arguments on the Facebook thread.

“Geologists concluded that the elevations are anthropogenic in nature. These hills (pyramids) are not natural, but the creation of human hands. In addition, they were rebuilt three times - increasing their height. Their cavities have the correct shape (research results by modern geophysical instruments), and what is located there is still unknown. It is assumed that the functional purpose of the pyramids of the Kola Peninsula is an observatory that allows you to follow the stellar system. The results of the analysis showed that the age of the mysterious observatory is nine thousand years.”

It was all very interesting to me, but the uncaptioned picture the article shows of the Russian pyramids doesn’t match the picture in the Facebook thread that got me started on researching them. Here’s that second picture I found that is supposedly of Russian Pyramids:
Which picture shows the actual Russian Pyramids? The Facebook picture or that second picture? And what are those objects on the “jumper” between the “pyramids”? If they are people, then the “pyramids” certainly can’t be 50 meters tall. Those questions caused me to immediately start a hunt for more pictures of the Russian Pyramids. At a web site HERE I found this third picture:

It seems to match the Facebook picture, except that it is taken from a slightly lower location. Complicating matters, the article at that link also contains a fourth picture of the Russian Pyramids which doesn’t seem to match any of the other three pictures, and these “pyramids” seem to be vastly taller than 50 meters. Here’s that fourth picture:
But then, after doing further research HERE, I found this fifth picture which is also supposedly of the Russian pyramids:
These “pyramids,” if they can be called that, in no way match the pyramids in the Facebook thread. But they are a good match for the pyramids shown in that second picture I found. Plus, they could be about 50 meters tall, although they seem smaller than that. And the objects on the “jumper” in this view definitely do not seem to be humans. I decided I needed to find the exact location of the pyramids and look at them via Google's Satellite view.

The articles I’d found indicated the pyramids were located near Lake Seydezero (a.k.a. "Holy Lake') and also near Mount Ninchurt. Lake Seydezero was easy to find, but all I could find about Mount Ninchurt was that it is evidently part of the "Lovozero Massif," which is evidently a U-shaped mountain range which nearly surrounds Lake Seydozero. Here's a satellite view of Russia's Kola Peninsula with a red pointer indicating the Lovozero Massif:

And here is a closer view of the Lovozero Massif surrounding Lake Seydezero:
The pyramids definitely do not stand out on a satellite image that is 10 miles to the inch. Zooming in to about 2 miles to an inch, the Lovozero Massif mountain range surrounding Lake Seydezero looks like this:

Zooming in further, to 500 or 200 feet to an inch, I can’t find anything in the area that looks like it might be the pyramids. So, I need to do further research in an attempt to find their exact location.

On November 3 I found an article HERE that contains dozens of pictures and lots of information about the Russian Pyramids. Unfortunately, it appears to be a bad translation from Russian, so some of what is in the article is almost undeciperable. It also contains this video:

After hunting for a week or so, I decided further hunting wasn't worth the effort. I couldn't find the exact location of the "Russian Pyramids," nor could I verify that the picture in the Facebook thread is anywhere on the Kola Peninsula. Image #2 appears to be the "Russian Pyramids."

During my search, I found another mystery about the Kola Peninsula. Here are some examples of large stones placed attop smaller stones for some unknown reason:
That's the final status of this investigation....... for now.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Experiments to resolve the conflict between Relativity and Quantum Mechanics

It appears that two perfectly identical radar guns can resolve a lot of science arguments.  One of the most absurd arguments made by Quantum Mechanics mathematicians is that motion can only be measured relative to some object.

That means that if you have two people inside the trailer of a truck traveling at 50 mph, the two people are stationary because there is no object inside the trailer moving relative to them.  It doesn't make any difference if they have a cell phone and talk with the driver who tells them what speed the truck is traveling, according to mathematicians they are stationary.  Why?  Because mathematically, the inside of the truck is a "reference frame" where nothing from the outside can intrude.

Einstein saw that that was just plain STUPID.  And he realized that motion can be measured relative to the speed of light.  Light is always emitted at c, and light always travels at c, which is 670,616,629 miles per hour.  That is the fastest that anything can travel, so all other speeds can be measured relative to that speed. 

Radar guns measure the speeds of moving objects relative to the speed of light.  In the illustration above, two men with radar guns are pointing their radar guns at each other while the truck moves at 50 mph.  

Einstein's second postulate says that light is always emitted at c, regardless of the speed of the emitter.  So, both radar guns in the illustration emit photons at c.  Radar GUN-A receives photons from GUN-B at c+v because Gun-A is moving toward those oncoming photons at velocity v.  Radar GUN-B receives photons from GUN-A at c-v because GUN-B is moving away from the oncoming photons.

All radar guns perform at least two speed measurements, they measure the speed of a target, and the measure the speed of the radar gun.  In Figure 1, the two identical guns are moving inside a truck that is moving from left to right at 50 mph.  Each gun will read the speed of the gun (actually the opposite wall) as zero, but it will also read the photons coming from the other gun as the speed of a target.  If the guns have the capability to show two speeds, they'll do so.  If not, the gun will add the two speeds together.  Gun-A will measure and display a speed of 50 mph (0 plus 50 mph) and Gun-B will measure and display a speed of -50 mph. (0 minus 50 mph)

According to mathematicians, this is impossible.  They claim both radar guns will measure and display a speed of zero, because they believe that radar guns measure the speed of a target relative to the gun, not relative to the speed of light.  And in the experiment, the guns are stationary relative to each other.  But how do the guns know that?  Mathematicians don't seem to be able to answer that question.

For more details see my paper at this link:

And for even more details, see my paper at this link:

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Radar Guns and Einstein's Theories

According to a NASA web site HERE, a basic police radar gun can, in theory, measure the speed of an oncoming car by sending out a single photon.  That photon hits an atom in an oncoming car as if the photon had its original energy PLUS the kinetic energy of the moving atom.  The atom cannot hold any additional energy, so it emits a new photon back toward the radar gun.  The new photon has the additional energy (and thus shorter wavelength) caused by impacting a moving object.

This conflicts with what many college text books say, since it is NOT something that the Wave Theory of light can explain if waves are viewed this way:

The image above shows repeated waves of one frequency being emitted by the radar gun in the police car and repeated individual waves of a shorter frequency being returned by the "moving car."

More importantly, police radar guns confirm Einstein's Second Postulate, which says,
“light is always propagated in empty space with a definite velocity c which is independent of the state of motion of the emitting body.”
Yet many many college text books claim that is NOT Einstein's Second Postulate.  They falsely claim that Einstein's Second Postulate says that light travels at c independent of the emitting body and any observing body.  Radar guns clearly demonstrate every day that that is not true.  Radar guns wouldn't work if the target received photons at c.  They work because moving targets receive photons at c+v (or c-v) where v is the speed of the target.

I'm writing about this because I have a paper about Radar Guns and Einstein's Theories available at this link: and I'm looking for people's comments about it.

Ed Lake

Monday, February 26, 2018

The 10 DUMBEST Ideas in Physics

This thread should probably be titled THE TOP TEN DUMBEST BELIEFS IN PHYSICS.  The word "ideas" seems to give more value to the items on the list than they deserve.  But, I can't change the title without causing all the places that link to this page to have bad links.  Anyway, ...
I've been arguing with physicists for several years now, primarily about Time and Time Dilation, and this is a list of the THE TOP TEN DUMBEST BELIEFS I've encountered being expressed by physicists.  There seem to be a lot more than ten, but this blog is modifiable, so as time goes on I'll add more and adjust the list as required.  Here are the top 10:

#10.  Singularities are real.

Physicists will argue that singularities are real, even though that is totally illogical.  They argue it because they can construct a mathematical model where everything is moving away from everything else (such as in the Big Bang universe), therefore everything is x distance from a single point.  They do not know what is at that point, and they don't seem to care.  They call it a "singularity."  In reality, calling it a "singularity" just means they have no clue as to what is there or what was there.  It is just a meaningless "singularity" in a mathematical model of limited value.  

Black Holes are also considered by mathematicians to have "singularities" at their center.  No one knows what is at the center of a Black Hole, but there is no LOGIC which says it is a "singularity" consisting of nothing.  What "singularities" do is allow physicist mathematicians to argue beliefs instead of trying to figure out what is actually at the center of a Black Hole.

#9.  The Big Bang didn't occur at  any spot, it happened everywhere.

The Big Bang was "discovered" when it was realized that most galaxies in the visible universe seem to be traveling away from each other, which implies that at some point in the past they were all clumped together in one point.  When that point is mentioned in discussions of it being the stationary point where gravity is zero (because everything is spread out evenly in all directions from there) and there is no velocity time dilation (because everything moved away from that point), the immediate argument from mathematicians is that the Big Bang didn't occur at any "point," it occurred "everywhere."  There is no logic to that argument (see dumb idea #5).  Logic says that the VISIBLE universe is much smaller than the BIG BANG universe.  During the first moments after the Big Bang, there was no light, and there probably weren't any particles to measure and create Time.  So, we can only see 13.8 billion years into the past to the point where light turned on.  We cannot see back to the Big Bang.  The situation can be viewed this way:
Virtually every point within the Big Bang universe is the center of a Visible universe that is 13.8 billion light years in diameter.  Within our Visible universe, almost every galaxy seems to be moving away from every other galaxy (with Andromeda and the Milky Way being notable exceptions) , but we cannot see the point when everything originated.  That point is outside of our Visible universe.

#8.  Light travels as waves.

The idea that light travels as waves had been shown to be false in many ways, but it is still what is taught in colleges and universities around the world.  Light consists of photons, not waves.  Photons can be emitted almost individually by turning down the power to a light source.  Each emitted photon remains the same strength as other photons, but there are fewer of them.  When they hit a detector, each hits with full force.  This also means there is no relationship between "wave length" and "wave frequency."  An individual photon oscillates in a wave-like pattern, but the intensity of the light is totally dependent upon the power of the source and the distance over which the photons will be spread.  Anyone who compares waves of light to waves of water (or sound) is talking total nonsense.

#7.  It is perfectly acceptable for physics to be illogical.

Many many college text books state that physics may sometimes appear contrary to "common sense," but what is "common sense" in the everyday world may not apply to the world of physics.  It also appears to be a way for teachers to stop students from arguing that what is being taught makes no sense.  As far as I know, only one physicist believes that it is perfectly acceptable for physics to be illogical.  That physicist posts as "tjrob137" on Google's Science, Physics & Relativity" discussion forum.  If I find there are more, this dumb idea may be moved to a spot higher on the list.  Here are parts of one argument where "tjrob137" made his beliefs clear:

At one point  "tjrob137" wrote: 
Logic is a subset of math. But what I said has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with that, because the world is NOT math or logic, it just IS.  Physics is also neither math nor logic, and is the systematic effort to MODEL how the world works.

Moreover, your "logic" is FLAWED -- you do not consider all of the aspects of the experiments you think you understand (but don't).
Sometime later, after arguing that think that I understand Einstein's theories and how "tjrob's" beliefs conflict with those theories, I wrote:
So, I'm on the side of Einstein who felt that the universe IS logical.
And "tjrob137" responded:
He was wrong, too.

Note the non-logical aspects of the world are not related to relativity, they are related to quantum mechanics, which Einstein never accepted -- we know he was wrong in that. YOU are even more wrong than him, because he at least understood the math and physics underlying relativity, while you CLEARLY do not.
So, "tjrob137" was clearly saying that there are aspects of quantum mechanics which are not logical.  And that doesn't bother him at all.  Of course, I think Einstein was right in never accepting Quantum Mechanics.  Quantum Mechanics is all about mathematical models, not about what is happening in reality.  Yes, the mathematical models often work very well, but that just means they work until they no longer work because they do not represent reality.  The mathematical model of the earth-centered universe is a good example.  It worked for a thousand years, until someone noticed something was wrong.  

#6.  Math is logic.

The argument that "math is logic" is one I get into very often in arguments on Google's Science, Physics & Relativity" discussion forum (which is also a UseNet forum).  The physicists posting there constantly argue that "math is logic" while I argue that math may be logical, but it is NOT logic.  The Scientific Method uses LOGIC, not math to find the correct answers to scientific questions.  When an answer is found that appears to be correct, the answer may be reduced to a mathematical formula to see if predictions can be generated.  For example, if it is imagined that planets orbit in elliptical orbits and not in circular orbits, you can use math to predict when a planet will appear on the other side of the sun using a mathematical model for circular orbits and another mathematical model for an elliptical orbit.  Observations and logic will tell you which mathematical model is correct.

#5.  Time ticks at the same rate everywhere.

The idea that Time ticks at the same rate everywhere is evidently a key belief in Quantum Mechanics.  It appears to be one of the irreconcilable differences between Quantum Mechanics and Einstein's Theories of Relativity.  In Relativity, Time ticks at a slower rate for a clock that is moving very fast, versus a clock that is standing relatively still.  And Time ticks at a slower rate when you are closer to a gravitational mass than when far away.  To QM mathematicians, this is not true.  And they have mathematical models which they use to show it is not true, but they cannot relate their mathematical models to the reality of Relativity.  To me, Time is particle spin.  I have a paper on "What is Time?"  Here's the link:

#4.  The speed of light is always measured to be the same by the emitter and by all outside observers, regardless of their own velocity.

The notion that all observers will see the speed of light to be traveling at c is due to mathematicians misinterpreting Einstein's Second Postulate.  It has been proved wrong in countless experiments and countless ways.  I have a paper on that subject here: 

#3.  "Cause and effect" has no meaning in science.

I was rather surprised to see this absurd belief stated so emphatically by mathematician physicists.  They equate understanding "cause and effect" to asking why 2 plus 2 equals 4.  They claim it is philosophy, not physics.  Cause and effect is all about why things happen.  The mathematician physicists evidently do not care why things happen.  In one argument I was told that once the mathematical model is found, "cause & effect becomes obsolete.  We understood this 2000 yrs ago!"

Why things happen is what a scientist wants to know.  It's what the "wonders" of science are all about. A mathematical model is only good until someone notices that it isn't always correct.  Then someone asks "What is the cause of that error effect in the mathematical model"?  And the model awaits an overhaul as scientists investigate cause and effect.

#2. Scientists routinely LIE to the public.

I spent a lot of time discussing this belief with mathematician physicists.  They go to great pains to avoid using the word "lie."  Instead, they say that scientists "dumb down" or "vulgarize" explanations of their work for the public, because the public is "too dumb" to understand what is really happening in science and particularly in physics.

The debate is usually over time dilation, and whether or not clocks moving fast through space "tick slower" than stationary clocks, and whether or not a clock at the bottom of a mountain "ticks slower" than a clock at the top of the mountain.  Scientists and physicists routinely make such claims in news stories and even in scientific papers when they report the results of new experiments.  Quantum Mechanics, however, says that clocks tick at the same rate everywhere.  Time is the same everywhere.  So, clocks cannot tick slower in one situation versus another.  And when a scientists writes something that says "clocks tick slower" for a moving object (even if it is Albert Einstein), the mathematician physicists who accept Quantum Mechanics will claim that is just a "vulgarization" or a "dumbing down" of what really happens, and what "really happens" is some mysterious problem with "signals" that are sent between observers and their clocks that just make it appear that the "clocks tick slower."  So, instead of acknowledging that experiments disprove their Quantum Mechanical belief that time ticks at the same rate everywhere, they rationalize what was said and argue that it was just a "vulgarization" or "dumbing down" of the topic.  In other words, "It is a lie."

#1.  All motion is reciprocal.
The idea that all motion or movement is reciprocal is in many physics books.  Basically, it means that if I am in a spaceship that seems to be motionless in empty space, and suddenly you pass by in another spaceship, there's no way to tell who is moving and who is standing still.  It will seem to me that you are moving.  But to you it will seem that I am moving.  And thus a physicist will argue that all motion is reciprocal.  And, piling absurdity upon absurdity, if all motion is reciprocal, then time dilation is also reciprocal.

The problem, of course, is that the situation with the two spaceships is totally fictional.  In real life, it costs millions (maybe billions) to send off a spaceship into space, and it burns lots of fuel which causes the spaceship to move toward countless objects in space that can be used to measure distances and movement.  So, there is no doubt that the spaceship was made to move.  It cannot be logically argued that the fuel expended caused planet Earth and the rest of the universe to move away from the stationary spaceship.  It is the same as arguing that if I use a gun to fire a bullet at a target, it is equally likely that the bullet stood still and I caused the target and the rest of the universe to move toward the stationary bullet.

The bizarre belief that all motion is reciprocal is the #1 dumbest idea in physics also because it is the basis for so many other errors and misunderstandings - particularly regarding time dilation.   It has no reality except in the minds of mathematicians.   

Additional thoughts:

I'm considering adding "Spacetime" somewhere on the list.  The problem is that the idea of "spacetime" is not exactly "dumb," it's just wrong.  It assumes a relationship between time and distance.  As I see it, there is no such relationship.  Time is particle spin, and space is just the emptiness between objects.  The "spacetime" idea came from Einstein who believed that time and distance (and length) were related.  In 1905 they knew nothing about "particle spin."  Eight years earlier, in 1897, J.J Thompson had discovered that atoms were composed of smaller particles.  But Einstein was working with light, not with atoms.  I need to think about how to phrase things if I argue that "Spacetime" belongs in the #9 spot on the list.  As I think of others for the list, I'll update this page.  If there turn out to be more than 10, I may list the remainder as "waiting in the wings" for one of the Top Ten to fade from favor.

I'm also considering adding "String Theory" to the list.  The problem is that "String Theory" isn't science, because there is no way to prove or disprove the theory.  Plus, it really isn't physics, either.  It's just mathematics.    

Friday, December 29, 2017

Examining Claims by Flat Earth Theorists

I was surprised to see on the news a couple months ago that a conference of people who believe the earth is flat was held in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Nov. 9-10, 2017.  It was a sold-out event, with about 400 people attending.  The image above is the shape of the earth as most of them see it.  The white band around the edge is the "ice wall" (known to everyone else as "Antarctica") that keeps people and the oceans from falling over the edge.

A little more research turned up news stories about the Flat Earth Conference.  Examples: "Inside the first ever 'Flat Earth conference' where conspiracy theorists promise to 'reveal Nasa space lies' and prove our planet isn't spherical," "Fanatics descend on sell out 'Flat Earth' conference promising to 'reveal NASA space lies'," "GLOBE NOTTERS: These oddballs are convinced the Earth is FLAT … and they’re out to ‘prove’ their theories are true," "Sellout flat-earth conference discusses NASA lies, fictional 9/11 and government mind control." 

I also found that there are many web sites run by Flat Earthers, and they also have many YouTube videos where they explain their beliefs.  One Flat Earther, Eric Dubay, has a 35 page "book" in which he presents "200 Proofs Earth is Not a Spinning Ball."  Four of his more interesting "proofs" are #44, #46, #47 and #48.   Here they are: 
 44) If Earth was a ball, and Antarctica was too cold to fly over, the only logical way to fly from Sydney to Santiago would be a straight shot over the Pacific staying in the Southern hemisphere the entire way. Re-fueling could be done in New Zealand or other Southern hemisphere destinations along the way if absolutely necessary. In actual fact, however, Santiago-Sydney flights go into the Northern hemisphere making stop-overs at LAX and other North American airports before continuing back down to the Southern hemisphere. Such ridiculously wayward detours make no sense on the globe but make perfect sense and form nearly straight lines when shown on a flat Earth map.
46) On a ball-Earth Cape Town, South Africa to Buenos Aries, Argentina should be a straight shot over the Atlantic following the same line of latitude across, but instead every flight goes to connecting locations in the Northern hemisphere first, stopping over anywhere from London to Turkey to Dubai. Once again these make absolutely no sense on the globe but are completely understandable options when mapped on a flat Earth.
47) On a ball-Earth Johannesburg, South Africa to Sao Paolo, Brazil should be a quick straight shot along the 25th Southern latitude, but instead nearly every flight makes a re-fueling stop at the 50th degree North latitude in London first! The only reason such a ridiculous stop-over works in reality is because the Earth is flat.
48) On a ball-Earth Santiago, Chile to Johannesburg, South Africa should be an easy flight all taking place below the Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern hemisphere, yet every listed flight makes a curious re-fueling stop in Senegal near the Tropic of Cancer in the North hemisphere first! When mapped on a flat Earth the reason why is clear to see, however, Senegal is actually directly in a straight-line path half-way between the two.
They are all basically both the same argument.  They just use different locations.  I found a graphic that some Flat Earthers use to illustrate this argument.  Here it is:

Note that the routes were clearly chosen so that they would cross Antarctica, and they ignore shorter, actual airline routes that go to and from the places depicted and do not require flying over Antarctica.  Moreover, the route they show from San Paolo, Brazil, to Perth, Australia, which goes closest to the South Pole, would be a 9,240 mile trip, and the range of a Boeing 747-400 is just 8,380 miles.

I did a little research and found that, contrary to the claims in the illustration and in the "proofs," anyone who has the money can fly around the earth (and around Antarctica) on commercial flights.  And it can be done on just 4 hops:

1.  Sydney, Australia, to Santiago, Chile, via Qantas Airlines.
      Distance: 7,055 miles.
      Time: 12 hours, 20 minutes.  5 non-stop flights per week
      Cost: $1,920, one way.
2.  Santiago, Chile, to San Paulo, Brazil, via  LATAM. 

      Distance: 1,604 miles
      Time: 4 hours, 10 minutes.  Many daily non-stop flights.
      Cost: $741, one way.
3.  San Paulo, Brazil, to Johannesburg, South Africa, via South African Airways

      Distance: 4,620 miles.
      Time: 10 hours 25 minutes.  1 - 2 non-stop flights per day.
      Cost: $1,982, one way.
4.  Johannesburg, South Africa, to Sydney, Australia, via Qantas. 

      Distance: 6,934 miles.
      Time:11 hours, 40 minutes.  1 non-stop flight per day.
      Cost: $1,270, one way. 

Total distance: 20,213 miles.
Total cost: $5,913

On a projected map with the South Pole in the center, the 4 hops look like this:

On the Flat Earth map, however, the 4 hops look like this:

And that is where the absurdity of the Flat Earth theory can be clearly seen.  To get from Sydney to Santiago, you have to fly across the flat earth world, passing over Los Angeles, California!  There doesn't seem to be any way to measure distances on the Flat Earth map, but on a globe, a flight from Sydney to Santiago that passes over Los Angeles would be 13,084 miles, much farther than directly from Sydney to Santiago on a globe, and far beyond the range of a Boeing 747-400.

And, of course, when flying on the flat earth from Johannesburg to Sydney, you would fly over Saudi Arabia and China.  On a globe, the flight is mostly over the Indian Ocean.

The question then becomes: When people take these flat earth flights, how is it they do not notice that they are flying over land when they should be flying over the ocean?  And how do they make it in one hop if the distance is greater than the distance the plane can fly without refueling?   Do the Flat Earthers believe all the passengers are hypnotized or drugged as soon as they get aboard?

Or maybe the Flat Earthers are just incapable of understanding simple logic.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

airplane on a conveyor belt

As I see it, the answer to the question is clearly "NO."  Some people agree.  But, it seems that many other people on the Internet strongly disagree.  And the TV show "Mythbusters" agreed with the naysayers.

This is an analysis of the dispute.  The question and illustration above are what Albert Einstein would have called a "gedanken," or a "thought experiment."  It is probably impractical or far too expensive to perform in real life, but there is nothing to stop the experiment from being performed in our imaginations.  You just need to have an imagination.

This is how the "thought experiment" works:

We have a 747 setting on a conveyor belt.  There is a wind sock or flag next to the conveyor belt which hangs limp, indicating there is no wind blowing.  Since "the conveyor belt is designed to exactly match the speed of the wheels, moving in the opposite direction," the flag pole can be used as a guide to assure this happens.  When the plane starts to move, the flag pole will get farther away unless the conveyor belt also moves to keep the plane in the same place.  So, we need some kind of device that makes sure the airplane always remains in the same spot.  That way, the conveyor belt will "exactly match the speed of the wheels, moving in the opposite direction."

The pilot of the plane can push his throttles full forward, and the conveyor belt will compensate to keep the plane in the same place, the speed of the wheels exactly matching the speed of the conveyor belt.

Can the plane take off?  Of course not.  It is basically just standing still.  It cannot get any lift.  There is no air rushing across the wings to create low pressure atop the wings to lift the plane.  That is what the "thought experiment" was designed to illustrate.

So, how can anyone possibly disagree with this?

Mostly they disagree because they misunderstand it.   Many disagree because they consider the "thought experiment" to be impossible, and they create a different experiment that they agree with.

The "thought experiment" might have been easier to understand if the pilot was in control of the experiment instead of the conveyor belt.  That way, the conveyor belt can be set to just run faster and faster until it reaches about 200 mph or beyond normal takeoff speed.

When the conveyor belt starts moving, the pilot will see the flag pole moving away from him, indicating that his plane is being hauled backwards.  He can then add power to his engines to compensate, keeping the flag at the same angle to the aircraft.  As the conveyor belt moves faster and faster, the pilot applies more and more power to the engines which generate more and more thrust.  But the weight of the plane on the conveyor belt remains the same.  No air moves across the wings, so the plane does not lift and cannot take off.  If the conveyor belt reaches 200 or 300 or 500 miles per hour, the plane will still be in the same spot.  All the engines are doing is preventing the the airplane from moving backwards.  The wheels will be flattened on the bottom just as if the plane was parked.

In reality, of course, the constant flexing of the rubber in the tires as they rotate under the full weight of the plane at high speeds would cause the tires to overheat and burst, and the engines would also overheat and either shut down or explode because they are designed to fly best in the cold air of higher altitudes.  But the plane would not take off.

What are the arguments from the naysayers?  The first argument (on a web site HERE) is "The wording of this quiz is wrong and makes it physically impossible," and "we can not design the conveyor belt to move at the same speed as wheels."   In effect, he admits that the plane cannot take off unless you reword the "thought experiment" to allow it.  He argues that the way the thought experiment is phrased does not allow for an imbalance of forces to move the plane forward.

So, he wants the experiment done the way it was done on Mythbusters.  And he includes a link to the Mythbusters episode about the thought experiment:

But the Mythbusters experiment did not have a conveyor belt.  They had a long canvas cloth laying on pavement.  And a truck pulling the cloth under the plane is supposed to simulate a conveyor belt.  But, it doesn't, because the weight of the plane is being held up by solid earth, not by the cloth and not by any conveyor belt.

When power is applied to the engine in the video, the plane can be seen to move almost normally relative to the traffic cones marking the side of the runway.  And the plane took off.  Why?  Because it wasn't the experiment in the original question.  The plane was moving across the stationary earth, not sitting on a moving conveyor belt.  The cloth was being pulled out from under the plane, but the cloth was very long and therefore flexible enough to have little effect on the movement of the plane.  That flexibility allowed the wheels to turn at the speed the plane moved relative to the earth.  And the plane is allowed to move forward, almost as if the cloth wasn't there.  They should have had high-speed cameras and marks on the tires to record the speed of the wheels versus the speed of the cloth and the speed of the ground.  That would have shown that the plane moved almost as if the cloth wasn't there, totally ignoring the experiment.

Another web page HERE also argues that the original question is not realistic, and it also argues that if the conveyor belt is moving fast enough it will drag air with it and give the airplane the lift it needs to take off.  That is highly doubtful, since the air being dragged will be very close to the earth and certainly won't be going OVER the wings, creating low pressure, which is what is needed to give the plane LIFT and allow it to take off. 

Another web page HERE also argues that the question is unrealistic.

A web page HERE says the plane cannot take off, and then he opens the question for debate, getting responses for and against.  There's another such page HERE.

There are more arguments HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.  And there is a New York Times article from 2006 HERE.

 As I see it, the question is HYPOTHETICAL.  It is a "gedanken" thought experiment.  As it is stated in the original question, the plane cannot take off.  If you change the question and add other conditions, then you aren't answering the question.  You are just arguing.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Trump thinks emotionally, NOT logically

I've been trying to restrain myself, but I keep thinking I need to write a comment about President Donald Trump's screwball claim that he was wiretapped by President Obama.  It's just one straw too many.  So, here's my comment. 

According to an article in Friday's Washington Post:

In the days since Trump’s tweets alleging the wiretapping were posted, the White House has called for a congressional investigation, declined to comment, dodged questions, pointed to media reports that don’t contain the information aides say they do and analyzed the president’s use of quotation marks — all while doubling down on his claim without providing any evidence.
While doing research, I found this cartoon: 

I keep thinking that President Trump simply cannot think logically, he only thinks emotionally.  Evidence obviously has no meaning to him.  Only his beliefs have meaning.  If there's no evidence of wire tapping, that just means the FBI hasn't looked hard enough to find the evidence that Trump believes must exist.

How can President Trump believe the evidence must exist?  Because some staffer comment or news article or email or idea convinced him to believe it.  And once he believed it, it becomes an emotional conclusion.  What he believes cannot be wrong, since that would mean he is not as smart as he thinks he is. 

There is no middle ground for those who think emotionally.  Those who think emotionally must be right, and the only acceptable alternative is that the world must be conspiring against them to maliciously argue something is wrong that must with absolute certainty be right.  If something they argued for turns out to be a failure, it is always the fault of those ignorant and malicious people who disagreed with them.

This topic has special meaning to me because I spent over a decade arguing with people who believed that Muslims sent the anthrax letters, even though all the evidence clearly said the letters were sent by an American scientist.   And those True Believers are still out there arguing the same things they argued ten years ago.  No facts or evidence will ever change their minds.  And, of course, they have no facts or evidence to support their beliefs.  As with Trump, they want the FBI to find the facts and evidence for them.  They are just absolutely certain that there is evidence out there somewhere that will confirm their unshakable beliefs.

It also seems that if these True Believers have one totally unsupported belief, they also have others.  And they are totally certain about all of them.  The absurd claims were probably never more absurd than when Trump argued that millions of people voted illegally in the election he won.   

From my observations, it appears that Trump was elected by people who think the way he does, people who think emotionally, not logically.  Were they driven by a hatred of foreigners, a fear of foreigners or a hatred of the government in general?  Maybe a bit of all three.   All that appears certain is that were "fed up" and wanted to elect a fast-talking game show host to straighten out the situation.  Trump told them what they wanted to hear, and they believed him. 

Another thing that Donald Trump has made very clear is that he had absolutely no idea how complicated politics can be.  He was probably the only person in America who thought that replacing "Obamacare" would be a simple task.

I'm reminded of a comment in Eric Hoffer's book "The True Believer" which said
the only way to change a True Believer's mind is to convert him to a different belief.  "He cannot be convinced, but only converted."

I have a paperback copy of Hoffer's book somewhere in my library, but I couldn't find it when I looked for it yesterday.  (It's probably behind some other book.)  But I quickly found a free pdf copy on the Internet.  Searching through it for the word "convert," I found this full quote:

The fanatic cannot be weaned away from his cause by an appeal to his reason or moral sense. He fears compromise and cannot be persuaded to qualify the certitude and righteousness of his holy cause. But he finds no difficulty in swinging suddenly and wildly from one holy cause to another. He cannot be convinced but only converted. His passionate attachment is more vital than the quality of the cause to which he is attached.
I also found this quote which seems very much to apply to President Trump:

Both by converting and antagonizing, he shapes the world in his own image.
And this quote also seems to apply to President Trump:

The proselytizing fanatic strengthens his own faith by converting others. The creed whose legitimacy is most easily challenged is likely to develop the strongest proselytizing impulse.
So, we can assume that as more and more of Trump's absurd beliefs get shot down and debunked by people citing facts and evidence, the more Trump will become convinced that he is right and the world is conspiring against him.

Doing a Google search for the words "Trump" and "impeach" I was provided with 16,900,000 results.  Among those results, I found a web site called "" which is looking for people to sign their petition to impeach President Trump (and to donate to their cause).  There are also a lot of other sites out there with petitions to impeach Trump.   I also found a Time Magazine article titled "Congress Can Remove Donald Trump From Office Without Impeaching Him."  And a article titled "Trump's Wiretap Tweets Raise Risk of Impeachment."  According to one source, Congressman Jerrold Nadler has already set in motion a plan to impeach Trump.

Of course, if Trump were to be impeached, that would mean that Vice President Mike Spence would become President.  Some consider that to be a worse situation: It's better to have an incompetent President than an evil President. 

Personally, I think it is more likely that Donald Trump will resign before the end of his four-year term than that he will be impeached.  If he doesn't find being President the "fun" and the boost to his ego that he thought it would be, and if he constantly suffers setbacks in his plans, he could just "throw in the towel" and say "The hell with it."  He'd blame others for his failures, of course.

On the other hand, if President Trump manages to start a war somewhere, that would mean all bets are off.   

I've been wanting to write a comment about Donald Trump for weeks, even though I try very hard to avoid thinking about him.  The problem is: He's on the TVs they have at the gym where I work out four times a week.  I seem to work out at the exact same time that Trump's spokesman Sean Spicer gives his daily news briefing.

When I get home, the evening news every night seems to have some story about Trump's latest screwball tweet.  And The Late Show with Stephen Colbert always has some hilarious comments about the Trump absurdities.

It's all very hilarious.. But, at the same time it isn't very funny at all.